Summer Guide Cape Cod

Summer Guide Cape Cod 2020

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Page 132 of 147 131 With tourism on the rise, the town saw an increase in the building of summer homes and hotels. Falmouth evolved into a bustling town with a diverse population: newcomers, colonists, sailors, immigrants, scientists, and summer people living together. When touring Falmouth today, the name Katharine Lee Bates can be seen throughout town. Known as Falmouth's native daughter, Bates was a writer who composed the poetic masterpiece, "America the Beautiful". She attended Wellesley College, and eventually be- came professor and chair of the English Litera- ture department at the institution. Along with "America the Beautiful," she is also known for popularizing Mrs. Claus in her poem, "Goody Santa Claus on a Sleigh Ride." She wrote other patriotic pieces, and also composed 32 volumes of stories, poems, and essays on topics such as Falmouth, nature, and social justice. Bates' sea- side hometown inspired many of her writings during her 70 years, from 1859 to 1929. After traveling the world and relocating, Bates would return to Falmouth every year to visit childhood friends and family. With such a strong devotion to her hometown, it was only fitting that she was buried at Falmouth's Oak Grove Cemetery, on 46 Jones Road. To carry on the legacy of the gifted writer, the Katharine Lee Bates Poetry Fest is held annually on the grounds of the Falmouth Historical Society Museums on the Green. People of all ages are encouraged to take part in the commemoratory celebration. Two poetry contests are held prior to the event, one for students and one for adults. The win- ning entries are read aloud at the festival. The festival, which is open to the public, is free and includes other historical readings as well as refreshments. The Falmouth Historical Society Museums on the Green also offers "A Walk Through Fal- mouth's History." The 90-minute walking tour starts and ends at the Falmouth Museums on the Green, and features nine stops along the historical route. Throughout the tour, several Falmouth greats such as Katharine Lee Bates and Elijah Swift are explored, along with histori- cal homes and buildings. Bates best describes the scenic seaside town in her poem, "The Falmouth Bell," when she writes, "Never was there lovelier town, than our Falmouth by the sea." Between war, whaling, agriculture, and tourism, the town thrives with rich history that is still carried on today. To learn more about the rich history of this charming seaside town please contact the Falmouth Historical Society, visit their website,, or call 508-548-4857. You may also want to visit the Falmouth Historical Society Museums on the Green, located at 55-65 Palmer Avenue. • Bates is pictured with her dog Hamlet at Wellesley College in 1916. The scenic town was first called "Suckanesset," the Wampanoag word meaning "where the black wampum is found." Wampum is the dark purple material found inside quahog shells, which the Native Americans used to make jewelry .

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